Facebook has removed the Timeline search privacy feature “Who can look up your Timeline by name”. The removal of this feature was started in 2012, with people who were not using the “Who can look me up?” privacy setting. This setting allows you to hide from searches performed by anyone who is not a friend or friends of friends.
Facebook claimed few people used it. This setting though, only applied to Search, so if anyone wanted to find my name in a Facebook post they could jump to my Timeline. I was one who does use this feature, but not this feature is no longer available to me. This move, is all to do with the new Graph Search tool, which is claimed will allow Facebook users more natural language searches. Graph Search doesn’t work well if “Who can look up your Timeline by name” is enabled. This search improvement helps you the user but it also provides valuable profile analytics to Facebook. After all, they need to monetize from you as you are using a free service, and not forgetting they are also a US stock market trading company.
What should you do?
You should review your privacy settings so that only your friends can see what you post. If you want to learn more about these settings, then I’ve written many posts on here. Just search “Facebook”. I also suggest you review all your ‘friends’, to make sure they are your friends and that you want to share your ilife with them. It’s your ilife after all.
How to manage your privacy settings:
- Click on the gear settings (top right) then Privacy Setting
- In “Who can see my stuff?” you should change the default setting for future posts from “public” to “friends”
- Next, you should see a reminder “Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timelines” – click > Limit Old Posts
- You will see a prompt “Are you sure you want to proceed?” – click . Confirm and only your friends will see content you’ve shared with them.
- NOTE: This is a global change which cannot be undone in one click. If you change your mind later, you will need to change the audience for each post one at a time. So be extra sure you want to make this global change with one click!
- Remember: You changed this setting inline when you posted – this setting can change when you post a reply i.e. The tool remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something, and uses the same audience when you share again unless you change it
Lastly, be vigilant as phishing emails will look to exploit this privacy change. Do NOT click on any links in emails or SMS to Facebook. You should type Facebook.com into your browser bar. If you want total privacy, delete your Facebook account and hope no one has cached/screen printed any pages from your Facebook profile. 🙂
Safe surfing folks!